Putting In A Koi Pond


So I have this raised veggie garden bed but it was missing one important thing, dirt! Kinda need dirt to grow veggies I think. I really didn’t want to have to buy soil from Home Depot or wherever but it really was my only option. Then comes along the perfect solution, digging a 4′ deep x 12′ wide hole in the ground. No, I’m not burying bodies. As if perfect timing a good friend decided to put in a permanent over-winter Koi pond. Hey, can I have your dirt?!

I love a good creative project so I decided to trade him dirt for labor. This friend is a pretty busy person and I had a feeling if I didn’t help it would turn into a 2 month process for him. Digging that big and deep of a hole is no easy task. I set out to have it done in a couple of days just in time for the weekend so we could knock out the install quickly.

Put a shovel in my hand and set me free!!

It took me just about 3 days to dig almost 4 feet down. We had a hot spell here so I waited till about 5pm everyday so that I could dig in the shade. No sense in breaking a sweat if I don’t need to, right? All the buckets of soil you see is being transported to our place so I can plant my raised garden bed. Yay! This hole filled at least 30 buckets and 30 big rubbermaid bins. That’s a whole lot a dirt!!


koi pond linerWhen I finished trying to dig my way to China it was time for the fun to start. What!? Digging isn’t fun?

If you’ve ever installed an above ground pool, you know how much fun de-wrinkling a pond liner can be. You get one wrinkle out and create 2 more wrinkles. Being that this pond is a triangle in shape with ovals in it, well that just added more fun to it. Naturally the weekend we picked to do the koi pond install, it was in the low 50’s. I would have preferred a hot sunny day so I could jump in the ice-cold water to cool off and smooth out the wrinkles at the same time. Instead I had to dance around the outside and try not to fall in to the hypothermia pool.

Putting in the waterfall was the part that excited me the most. Aside from seeing the finished project of course. In my head I had envisioned this grand 5 tier waterfall but as this isn’t my pond I had to keep my ambitions in check. A 3 tier waterfall would have to do.

The pump that is running the circulation is a pretty big pump. We were kind of worried it was going to be too much movement for the filter box and waterfall size but after a short wet test we could see it was a perfect fit!

The rest of the koi pond install went rather quickly with a pause here and there when I couldn’t find the perfect rock for some spots. It’s hard work making something look organic and not forced, or maybe I just have a slight touch of OCD.

3500 pounds of rock later, we stood there and admired the finished koi pond. I would have to say I/we did a pretty darn good job! A bottle of champagne would have been an appropriate celebration but at this point I don’t think my arms could manage to lift one more thing. Even alcohol! Shame…

Of course now I want to put our pond in but I think that may have to wait till next summer :pout: . Now that I have dirt to fill my raised cinder block garden I’ll have to just focus on that this summer.

Do you have a pond in your backyard? Do you want one? Have shovel, will travel. :)


7 comments for “Putting In A Koi Pond

  1. Lori Baker
    29 May, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I was hoping for a picture of the finished project. Nice swap!

    • Joe
      29 May, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      If you mean photos of the finished veggie garden, that’s coming very shortly :)

  2. Jill Reichenberger
    29 May, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Joe, This is a very cool project! Nice work. I want to put a water fall in this huge pot that I have. I need to get busy and get it done. I don’t think it will be that hard.

    • Joe
      29 May, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      That sounds like a fun project and should be pretty easy to do. Barry wants to put a water fountain in somewhere. Perhaps that will be the next weekend project.

  3. 4 June, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Your friends pond turned out real nice! Would you like to bring your shovel and come help me build a waterfall? I need some tips and looks like you are highly qualified! Thanx for sharing the koi pond project with us. Can we see your raised garden?

    • Joe
      4 June, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, it was a lot of work but fun at the same time.

      I’ve been itching to put another pond in. Won’t happen in our yard this year so I have shovel and will travel lol.

      I’ll be posting an update on the raised garden hopefully in couple days time.

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